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Published on Mar 9, 2011
Charles Kunz (August 18, 1896 -- March 16, 1958) was an American musician.
Charlie Kunz was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 1896, the only son of a master baker who played the French horn. He made his debut aged six and made his first appearance as a prodigy aged seven. During the Great War he led his own resident band, while working in a munitions factory.
He came to England in 1922 as a pianist in a small dance band. He was to remain here until his death from a heart attack in 1958. He is buried in Streatham Vale Cemetery. He was such a distinctive and popular pianist that he abandoned his orchestra to concentrate on his piano playing both at music hall venues and on the BBC. Two of Britain's most famous female vocalists were with his orchestra in the 1930s, Vera Lynn and Welsh songstress Dorothy Squires. His best known crooner was George Barclay.
Charlie was the pianist in a dance band which was led by drummer, Ed Krick. The band came to London in 1921 to play a residency in the London Trocadero. The band returned without Charlie to Pennsylvania after a very successful run at the 'Troc' and until 1998, still got together for sessions for retirement homes, renamed the band 'The B Flats'.
His debut as a soloist came in 1934 at the Holborn Empire. The same year saw the beginning of what was to become a continuous output of solo records of "Charlie Kunz Medleys".
Charlie's piano style remains unique, a relaxed flowing interpretation of popular melodies played with subtle soft and loud accents, a style which he called "melody and rhythm with expression".